Court orders are an important part of legal processes such as divorce, legal separation, or paternity cases. Those rulings help cement specific aspects of your future life, especially when you share minor children. However, life happens, and you may find that the current court orders do not match your current situation a few months or several years later. You can then submit a modification request to the court so they can evaluate your petition and amend the existing orders. Most court order modification requests concern alimony, child custody, visitation, and child support.
Common reasons for requesting a court order modification include:
- Heath issue
- An unexpected loss of employment
- Significant pay cuts
- Additional children
- Child’s maturity
You and your former partner can also reach an agreement on a specific concern and request a suitable modification. Even if your case is simple, consulting a family law attorney can ensure that you present your petition with all necessary information and in a way that helps you secure a positive outcome.
Spousal Maintenance Modification
If you have experienced a drastic life change, including unforeseen job loss and a medical issue that interferes with your daily life, you may request a modification to alimony, also known as spousal maintenance in Colorado. You need to demonstrate that you are not responsible for the change in your circumstances.
A judge should terminate your need to make alimony payments if your former spouse remarries or dies. If you are the one remarrying, this rarely affects the current spousal maintenance court order.
Child Custody and Parenting Time Modification
In Colorado, child custody involves both physical custody which determines where the child resides and who supervises their daily life, and legal custody which gives authority to one or both parents to make major decisions for the child’s life, including healthcare, education, and religion. Custody can be sole or joint. If one parent has sole physical custody, the non-custodial parent typically has visitation rights. If a judge agrees to modify your current child custody court order, especially when it comes to physical custody, it may also affect your child support arrangements.
You and your co-parent may agree on adjusting either or both types of custody and parenting time as your life changes. A child custody modification can also happen if one of the parents, especially the custodial one, decides to move farther away in the state, or to a different one. In such situations, the judge needs to review your petition to have the minor child move along with their custodial parent.
Depending on how the proposed move would affect, the judge may change the custody arrangement even if they decline to allow the child to move to a different area because they determine this would not be in the child’s best interests. This can also impact the division of parenting time, especially if the move must now account for travel time when the child visits their non-custodial parent.
If your child is over 12 years old, a judge can take their preference for physical custody and parenting time into account to modify the current agreement.
Child Support Modification
Similar to alimony changes, you may request a child support modification if you unexpectedly lose your job or experience a health issue that impacts your earning capability. If you welcome a new child to your family, you may also petition for a change in child support payments a judge factors the number of children you are responsible for when calculating child support.
A child support modification can also happen if your child’s medical or educational needs changes and the cost rise. In this type of situation, the custodial parent may request a modification to receive increased financial support to properly care for the child.
In Colorado, child support usually ends when the child turns 19 or until they graduate from high school. In certain cases, you and your co-parent may agree to extend child support until your child turns 21, or longer if your child has a disability.
Plan Your Modification Request with Clawson & Clawson, LLP in Colorado Springs
Our dedicated team has extensive family law experience, including helping families request appropriate modifications as their life changes over time. Whether we previously assisted you or it is your first time reaching out to us, we carefully review your current situation and discuss your goals. This helps us establish a reasonable ground for your request and help you build a strong case to present to the judge. We can then guide you throughout the legal process and advocate for your rights and future to help you obtain the modification you desire.
Call Clawson & Clawson, LLP, today at (719) 602-5888 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation to discuss your desired court order modification in Colorado Springs!